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How To Steal Content The Good Way

Updated on May 25, 2009

So originally I wrote this piece about protecting your copyright online which basically said 'Hey, screw it, don't bother. You can't protect your copyright on line and you don't want to anyway.' The point I was making with that piece had to do with the fact that dissemination of ideas is what the Internet is all about. There's no point having unique content on a site nobody visits when nobody knows who the hell you are anyway.

But there is another side to the coin. Some people reading that may have come to the conclusion that stealing other people's content is a ok. It's not. Mmkay? Stealing is still bad. But there are ways to borrow someone else's content without being a bad person. Sharing and caring is what the Internet is all about. That and, you know, loose women.

It's a continuum you see. There are good ways to use other people's content, and there are bad ways to use people's content. Let's go through and learn about the right ways to make use of the vast resources the interwebs provides, and the wrong ways that will earn you eons of karmic revenge.

The four stages of using other people's content on line:


Half naked dude.
Half naked dude.

Good Guy

Select small passages from original text. Talk it up. Encourage people to go up to the original author, hug them and give them the contents of their wallets. Back link to the original content using targeted anchor text.

Karmic Reward: Live a long and happy life surrounded by beautiful women and puppies.

Family Guy
Family Guy

Pushing It

This content is relevant to your interests! Copy the whole damn thing. Give a back link in the body of the text and acknowledge the original author.

Karmic Reward: Have a sandwich, you deserve it.

Carlos Mencia (Renowned for being accused of thieving routines from other comedians.)
Carlos Mencia (Renowned for being accused of thieving routines from other comedians.)


Copy the whole damn thing. Grudgingly give a back link somewhere at the bottom of the text, but fail to acknowledge anywhere else that the content isn't yours. Stuff adsense ads all over the content and make yourself some pennies from someone else's work.

Karmic Reward: Develop a strange rash that just won't go away.


Photo by Jim Bourg, Reuters
Photo by Jim Bourg, Reuters

%$^##$%@! (The criminal formerly known as (unprintable))

Scrape site with remote bots. Remove attribution. Stuff ads all over that content.

Karmic Reward: Cry self to sleep all alone. Meet miserable end tied to a rock atop a mountain having one's liver eaten from one's body every day by a giant hawk. (Oh yeah, I got all ancient Greek on yo asses.)


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    • Hope Alexander profile image

      Hope Alexander 9 years ago

      You're right Marisa, they won't, but this at least helps the people who want to reference or make use of other people's content without being all '$@@#%' about it :)

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 9 years ago from Sydney

      Well done Hope! Sad thing is, the scumbags and the %$^##%@s won't pay a blind bit of attention...